The title role was originally offered to Jack Palance, before it eventually went to Christopher Lee, the cousin of Ian Fleming who was known as the Man with the Golden Pen. (Fleming had previously offered Lee the title role in Dr. No, the first James Bond movie.)
Francisco Scaramanga is also known as "Pistols" Scaramanga and "Paco" (from the Spanish diminutive for Francisco) in the Ian Fleming novel, "The Man With Golden Gun". The Scaramanga character also appears in the video game GoldenEye: Rogue Agent in which Christopher Lee reprises his role and provides his voice. Scaramanga is also a playable character in the multi-player section of 007: Nightfire.
The idea of a "Golden Gun" in the James Bond universe predates both the 1965 novel and movie of The Man with the Golden Gun. Ian Fleming's villain Auric Goldfinger in both the 1959 novel and then the movie Goldfinger brandished a golden pistol whilst disguised as a military major.
In the Ian Fleming James Bond novels, Mary Goodnight is a regular character like Miss Moneypenny. She is actually James Bond's secretary or personal assistant. The Man with the Golden Gun is the only James Bond movie in which she appears. Britt Ekland auditioned for the role of Scaramanga's mistress, but landed the Goodnight role after posing in a bikini. Mary Goodnight drives a car of the model known as MG, the same initials as herself.
The novel "The Man With The Golden Gun" was adapted as a comic strip in the Daily Express newspaper in England from 10 January to 10 September 1966. It was written by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Yaroslav Horak and has been reprinted on more than one occasion.
Marc Lawrence plays Rodney, the gangster who is shot by Scaramanga at the beginning of the movie. He also played a Las Vegas hood who works for Slumber Inc. in Diamonds Are Forever. It is not clear whether or not they are intended to be the same character.
The golden gun was manufactured by special effects wizard John Stears from a number of tobacco and men's accessories such as a cigarette case, fountain pen and cigarette lighter. During the 1950s, KGB agents were issued with miniature one shot .22 calibre guns compacted in cigarette cases .
A poster for the movie being released for Christmas 1974 promised "A Christmas Present From James Bond". The present was, as the ad read: "A solid gold fountain pen that screws into the body of a gold cigarette lighter. A gold cigarette case that is snapped into place to form a handle. A solid gold cuff link that becomes the trigger. A single gold bullet that is placed in the chamber". The present of course was the Golden Gun. And the poster's tagline then read: "The Man With The Golden Gun Is Ready To Assassinate James Bond".
The literal translations of some of this film's foreign language titles include 007 Against The Man With The Golden Gun (Brazil); The Man With The Golden Colt (Germany); 007 And The Golden Gun (Finland) and 007 Versus The Golden Gun (China)
Vehicles featured included various American Motors cars including two American Motors Cassini (AMC) Coupés, a red 1974 AMC Hornet X Hatchback Special Coupé which performs the spiral loop jump and a brown and gold 1974 AMC Matador X Coupé which became a car-plane which was based on the Aerocar International's Aerocar or Taylor Aerocar; a fleet of green Peninsula Hotel Rolls Royce Silver Shadows; a Cairo Taxi; an MGB; Mercedes-Benz 240D; Longtail Boats riding the Bangkok floating market's canals and waterways known as the Klongs; Scaramanga's diesel-engine Chinese Junk; a Republic RC-3 SeaBee seaplane; and a Hong Kong Harbour Patrol Boat.
"The Man With The Golden Gun" was the thirteenth and final complete James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming. It was the first and only one of his full James Bond novels to be published posthumously. Some sources claim that it was unfinished at the time of his death whereas other experts such as Andrew Lycett and John Cork maintain that Fleming had completed it before he died. It is of controversial debate as to whether Fleming wrote the novel completely himself or whether other(s) were involved. Fleming's own personal correspondence from the period indicates that he had in fact completed the novel and submitted it to his publisher before his death. The correspondence also indicates that Fleming was not pleased with the novel and was considering retiring from writing Bond novels, because he feared he had lost his edge.
The source of the name "Scaramanga" originates in the name of a man that James Bond creator Ian Fleming knew called Pandia Scaramanga. He had met him and stayed at his house on the island of Hydra in the Greek isles. Reportedly, Fleming sought permission from him to use his surname, indicating that he would be James Bond's adversary in "The Man With The Golden Gun". The real Scaramanga apparently responded: "I certainly do not mind you using my name but please do not to kill me."
According to British production designer, Peter Murton, the sequence where Scaramanga's car transforms into a light airplane was accomplished in the editing room. Wings were attached to the actual car and a stuntman drove the carplane to the runway. At this point the film editor simply cut to a radio-controlled model built by John Stears.
This is the James Bond movie on which the partnership between Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli is said to have deteriorated. Roger Moore stated in his DVD audio-commentary that this predominantly occurred behind closed doors.
In earlier versions of the script, the character of Nick Nack played by Hervé Villechaize was originally called Demi Tasse and Hai Fat had a business partner called Lo Fat, a character which was scrapped.
The cork-screw car jump was apparently conceived years before the movie went into production. Researchers at Cornell University were studying rollover collisions for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and they did a computer simulation of the barrel roll stunt used in the film. Race car driver Jay Milligan, who is the promoter of the American Thrill Show during the 1960s and 1970s with the sponsorship of the American Motors Corporation, did actually perform the barrel roll stunt, known as the Astro Spiral Jump and it debuted on January 12, 1972 at the Houston Astrodome using an AMC Javelin. Milligan was contacted by Cubby Broccoli during an American Thrill Show performance in Hershey, Pennsylvania where he wanted the stunt performed in a James Bond film. The producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli allegedly took out patents and copyrights on the stunt as they did not wish it to appear in another movie before they had used it. The 360-degree car-spiraling jump over a canal was performed in just one take by uncredited British stuntman 'Bumps' Williard as 8 cameras simultaneously captured the spectacle. So potentially hazardous was nature of the stunt, divers, ambulances and cranes were on standby alert in case of any catastrophic consequences. The stunt was so rapid that the film is shown in slow motion. Williard was given a large bonus for completing the jump on the first take. Jay Milligan did actually perform the driving stunts with the AMC Hornet used in the film - AMC provided 15 vehicles used in the film (some of them where AMC Matador police cars). There were two AMC Hornets used for the spiral jump stunt and one of them is still owned by Jay Milligan - which is the backup vehicle while the other one is in a museum. The jump is also credited with being the first stunt ever to be calculated by computer modeling.
Eleventh James Bond film and the ninth in the EON Productions official film series. Second James Bond film to star Roger Moore as James Bond, the 11th to feature Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny and the 9th to feature Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
J W Pepper (Clifton James) is a sheriff from Louisiana that James Bond met in Live and Let Die. While chasing Scaramanga, Bond teams up with Pepper, who is on holidays in Thailand. When Pepper first sees Bond riding past in a boat, the music from Live and Let Die can be heard.
Alice Cooper's "Muscle of Love" album has a song "Man With the Golden Gun" on it. The CD version includes notes claiming it was to be the theme song of the movie, but the producers opted for the version sung by Lulu instead.
First James Bond movie to be shown at the Kremlin. According to Roger Moore in his audio commentary, apparently when the movie had finished, one Russian official turned around and said "We didn't train him [Scaramanga] very well". The Scaramanga character in the James Bond universe was recruited by and acted as a hit-man for the KGB.
Harry Saltzman wanted an elephant stampede in the movie so Bond and Scaramanga could chase each other on elephant back. The rest of the creative team balked at the idea, but Saltzman went to see an elephant trainer. It turns out that elephants need a special shoe on their feet to protect them from rough surfaces when they work. A few months later, while filming in Thailand, Albert R. Broccoli got a call saying his elephant shoes were ready. Saltzman had ordered about 2,600 pairs of them. The sequence was not in the movie, but the man who made the shoe had not been paid. As of 1990, EON production still owed him.
One of the lowest-grossing Bond films. That fact, combined with behind-the-scenes problems, nearly made this the final Bond film, and delayed production of the next entry in the series, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Long-time DP Ted Moore quit halfway through the production, either through illness or disagreements with the producers depending on who you ask. Ernest Day acted as DP for about a week before Oswald Morris came on board (though none of the footage shot by Day made it into the final film).
In the fight in the dancer's dressing-room, Roger Moore sprays one of the villains in the face with an aerosol can of what is clearly Brut-33, a nod to the Fabergé company with which Moore was associated.
When Bond says, "The energy crisis is still with us," to M, that had a lot of truth to it. Britain had not yet overcome the oil crisis of 1973, as it had not yet had North Sea oil and gas flowing through its pipelines
The Golden Gun consisted of a number of gold components from Pistols Scaramanga's personal effects. These included: A gold 15 x 1.5 cm fountain pen which became the gun barrel; a 8 x 4 cm gold cigarette lighter which formed the hammer and bullet chamber; a 10 x 6 cm gold cigarette case doubled as the gun's magazine hand grip (or gun butt or handle); whilst a solid gold cuff link from his shirt cuff was adjoined to the cigarette case turned into the gun's trigger. In the movie, custom made 23 carat golden bullets with nickel trace elements were manufactured for the gun by Eastern expert Portugese gunsmith Lazar.
In both the source novel and this film, the Scaramanga character has an additional nipple which in reality can be a real biological occurrence. It is known as a supernumerary nipple but can also be called an accessory nipple or third nipple. The medical name for such can be either polythelia or polymastia. In this movie though, it is referred to as a superfluous papilla. In the James Bond parody movie Austin Powers in Goldmember, the Goldmember character also has a third nipple.
Product placements, brand integrations and promotional tie-ins for this movie include American Motors Company (AMC); Dom Perignon Champagne; The Bottoms Up Club, Hong Kong; Sony; The Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel; Nikon; Moët; The Floating Macau Palace; Tabasco Sauce; Rolex Watches, James Bond wears a Rolex Submariner 5513; Dunlop; Pepsi and Guinness Beer.
"The Man with the Golden Gun" was the last novel Ian Fleming wrote. The film bears virtually no relation to the book, other than the name of Scaramanga, his third nipple, his golden gun, his occupation as an assassin, and a brief monologue about the shooting of an elephant when Scaramanga was younger. Even the locale was shifted from Jamaica, as that location had already been used for Dr. No and Live and Let Die. Scaramanga was changed from an American hood into a more urbane methodical assassin, more akin to Bond himself.
The original plan was to shoot in Iran. This was partly inspired by Albert Lamorisse's film The Red Balloon. The start of the Yom Kippur War was an instrumental reason in calling off the idea of filming there. Southeast Asia was the new location chosen.
The secret headquarters for MI6 in Hong Kong Harbour was the wreck of the real life ship RMS Queen Elizabeth. The vessel had actually however been renamed before the time of filming and was known as the Seawise University.
The Royal World Premiere of The Man with the Golden Gun was held on Thursday 19th December 1974 at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London in the presence of Prince Philip who was the Guest of Honour.
Later after both "The Man with the Golden Gun" novel was published and this movie was made, two James Bond novels were written with similar title prefixes beginning "The Man..." . These are 1991's "The Man From Barbarossa" by John Gardner and 2002's "The Man with the Red Tattoo" by Raymond Benson.
Race car driver Jay Milligan drove the AMC Hornet during the chase scenes in Bangkok, Thailand - with the exception of the barrel roll stunt performed by 'Bumps' Williard in the film. 15 AMC vehicles (which ranged from AMC Matador police cars painted in the black and white livery similar to the color scheme used by the Los Angeles Police Department, an AMC Matador coupe, and a few AMC Hornets - some of them modified for stunts) were used in the film.
According to Roger Moore, Guy Hamilton wanted to toughen Bond up more in order to be closer to Ian Fleming's original intent for the character. One of the ways was by having Bond twist the arm of Andrea Anders behind her back, and threaten to break it unless she told him what he wanted to know. Moore didn't enjoy filming the scene, feeling that Bond would have instead charmed the information out of her. Another scene Moore didn't enjoy was pushing the boy into the water during the boat chase.
As a joke on Desmond Llewelyn, Roger Moore wrote fake dialogue for Q, and then gave it to the script girl to give to Llewelyn after he had spent a whole month learning his lines and was about to come on set.
In his autobiography, Roger Moore said that when they were filming the boat chase on the klongs, he fell in twice. The first was on purpose (because they told him not to do it), and the second time was by accident. On the second fall, Moore made the mistake of opening his eyes under water, and saw what the local undertakers did with the bodies of the less fortunate.
During shooting, the cast and crew had to take a one hour boat ride to the set. They decided to leave their equipment overnight, and employed two security guards to watch over it. One night, Moore said that two large generators were stolen. The guards claimed they saw nothing.
Hervé Villechaize lamented to Roger Moore that whenever he stayed at a hotel, he could never get a room above the first floor. When Moore asked him why, he said it was because he couldn't reach the buttons in the lift.
On first meeting Bond in the car, Lieutenant Hip's nieces greet him in two different languages. Niece #2 says "Sawadee ka" (Thai for "Hello" and "Goodbye") and Niece #1 says "Ni hao ma" (Mandarin for "How are you?").
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Director Guy Hamilton has stated that the Nick Nack was intended as being a miniature version of the Oddjob character (they both wear black bowler-style hats)from Goldfinger, a film he also directed. Nick Nack was the first villain (but a henchman) in the EON Production official series whose fate was to be captured and not killed.
Britt Ekland admitted to being terrified when filming the scene where she and Roger Moore escape from Scaramanga's island. In his autobiography, Moore pointed out one particular shot, right before the second explosion goes off, when Ekland falls to the floor; according to Ekland that wasn't acting. Moore came back, picked her up, and helped her go on. His arm was around her back as the second explosion went off, and he felt the tiny hairs on her skin get singed.
The first line of the Ian Fleming James Bond "The Man with the Golden Gun" novel read: "The Secret Service holds much that is kept secret even from very senior officers in the organization." The last line read: "At the same time, he knew, deep down, that love from Mary Goodnight, or from any other woman, was not enough for him. It would be like taking 'a room with a view'. For James Bond, the same view would always pall."